Squaring off the pie charts

Getting graphs of any sort to work on a web site is a challenge at the best of times. Anil Dash has noted a surprising squared-off alternative to the good old pie chart. His examples come from big shot news sources NY Times and Wired respectively, which means this is a trend, not a coincidence.

Comprehension thrives on conventions so these right-angled graphics took me much longer to decode than a good old pie chart. And one of them was illegible on my screen.

But these are early days for the pixellated pie chart. Anything goes. On-to-it designers have heaps of choice about where to place the chips: does the largest share go left, right, top, bottom, on the perimeter or in the centre?

Pies are entirely docile and standardised by comparison, with only one major decision to make, namely about colours. Maybe pie charts just aren't enough fun for designers.

Anil Dash: Pixels are the new pies
Readable version of Wired graphic
Image from foodworks.co.nz


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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